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Ratatat

Builder overcharged £45,000 and job not completed

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I have now received four solicitor letters from the same solicitor for the builder, the plasterer, and two building subcontractors. The builder's letter denies overcharging and insists that I employed the contractors directly and that he had minimal discussions with the other contractors. This is all lies, I did no even speak to or meet some of the contractors.

 

The plasterer's letter also states that he was employed by me and that I instructed him what to do, even though I never met him or spoke to him.

 

The two labourers are nephews of the builder, but of course he had nothing to do with them and I instructed them what to do (with all my building knowledge!). Also they state that all of their payments came directly from me, which is not true either.

 

All are threatening to take further action to recover the money they feel they are owed.

 

I do think that getting the work they have done valued would be a strong move. The ideal would be to get the builder to agree to go halves on paying for an independent chartered survey.

 

I think he knows he has overcharged me, so perhaps he would not agree to this. Then I could go ahead with having a survey done myself, which will give strong evidence that he has overcharged and discredit him.

 

This valuation would be very useful in dealing with the other contractors - the labourers, plasterer and electrician and the window installer.

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Regarding writing to the plasterer for all invoices. I can do this, but it would also be more beneficial to have a full set of labour invoices from the builder. He supplied me with all the invoices for materials last month and also the total payments to each contractor, so he can't lie too much.

 

These invoices will be much more useful than the plasterers invoices which don't really say anything. The plasterer is smarter than the builder, and I'm thinking that it would be prudent to ask for the builder's invoices first.

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I think you are wrong and that you should follow our advice closely. I thought that. you had already requested the plasterer's invoices?

 

Have you organised the aerial quotes yet?


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I have two quotes for the work the aerial installer did, they are both similarly priced and less than half what he has charged me.

 

I have followed your advice to the T with the aerial installer.

 

Today I received a County Court claim form from him for the full amount that he invoiced me

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A great shame that we didn't have these close earlier and the average payment hadn't been paid to him. That would have reduced the problem and made it more manageable.

 

Have you got a cheque book yet?

 

Please will you post up the claim form here in PDF format


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Yes, perhaps I should have just made a bank deposit of the average of the two quotes I received over the telephone this week. The chequebook has been ordered but takes 5 working days. I believe he would have chosen not to bank the cheque anyway as he wrote back on his last email that he would not accept the average quote and was persisting to claim the amount on his invoice. I think this is why he rushed to do a claim before I could give him a payment.

 

The particulars of the claim are..

 

I am making a claim for work carried out at Miss X's house. She asked me to carry out the work. She did not ask for a quote. I carried out the work and invoiced her on 21st November 2018. It is now 21 Feb 2019. The work involved installing an aerial system Around the house as per instructions. Miss X originally claimed the invoice should be paid By her builder. And now claims that I have ovrcharged her.i have offered to reduce the invoice but to no avail. I believe that I have Charged her a reasonable amount for the time and materials involved.

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The problem is that without the written quotes that I have been asking you for, if in the end the quotes are different once they have visited the house and understood the work correctly then it will throw everything out of kilter.

 

This is why it is extremely important that you get these written quotations. Now that a claim has been issued against you, you need to get onto this.


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I will organise the quotations on Monday.

 

The aerial installer has just sent yet another email to me. I think he rather enjoys harassing me;

 

Miss X ,

It's a bit late for all that stuff .

Don't waste your time .

I'll see you in court .

My Barrister tells me that I've every good chance !

3 months ! And not a single penny !

 

He has been asking for payment for less than four weeks. He had totally forgotten about the invoice until the end of January.

He has no proof that I had even received the invoice - as mentioned in his first text on Jan 27th he gave the invoice to the builder.

 

Do you actually think he will bring legal representation to the hearing? He's such a nutter that it would not surprise me if he did.

 

He also mentions the builder and other contractors in his communications. He obviously has talked with them about the overall situation.

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What do you think I should do about the builder and the other contractors who believe they are owed money?

 

Should I wait for them to individually raise claims against me and defend myself?

 

Or do you think that attack is the best form of defence, and since I have been undoubtedly overcharged I should pursue them for money owed?

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Don't worry about whether he has legal representation or not. Even if you lose the case, you will not be liable for his costs so that will simply be something that he decides to treat himself too.

 

Please make sure that you get the written quotations for the equivalent work as soon as possible and then we will help you draught a defence.

I am quite sure that the others are all watching to see what happens.

 

Don't worry about it.


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in terms of the others, I wouldn't worry about it. Don't do anything but you certainly should be getting copies of the invoices from the plasterer. Let us know how that goes.


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What about the builder? I think I should make a £10,000 claim against him in respect of overcharging. Even if that is just for the unfinished extension. He has charged £10,000 more than he quoted for that and not finished it. I had a quote today of £6000 to finish it (which I think is high and I will be looking for other quotes). If I don't take action against him I am leaving myself open to him and his two building labourers taking action against me for the wages they have invoiced me for. If the labourers do take me to court, which they have said they will, having an action against the builder will be a strong defence.

 

I'm not sure taking a defence only strategy is putting me in a strong position, and I would like to recoup some of the money I have been overcharged.

 

This will also put me in a stronger position with the plasterer.

Edited by Ratatat

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Please will you explain why it is so important to have copies of all of the plasterer's invoices? How will this benefit me?

 

I need to be sure the benefits outweigh the risks of giving him the opportunity to add anything to them which could make his case stronger.

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What about the builder? I think I should make a £10,000 claim against him in respect of overcharging. Even if that is just for the unfinished extension. He has charged £10,000 more than he quoted for that and not finished it. I had a quote today of £6000 to finish it (which I think is high and I will be looking for other quotes). If I don't take action against him I am leaving myself open to him and his two building labourers taking action against me for the wages they have invoiced me for. If the labourers do take me to court, which they have said they will, having an action against the builder will be a strong defence.

 

I'm not sure taking a defence only strategy is putting me in a strong position, and I would like to recoup some of the money I have been overcharged.

 

This will also put me in a stronger position with the plasterer.

I'm really not quite sure what to say to you.

 

You have managed to get yourself into a terrible hole already by mishandling the entire project of modifying your new home. This is partly because you undertook a project in which you have absolutely no experience.

 

Now you have come to us for help but instead of accepting our help you want to ignore what we say and instead you prefer to go off at full pelt, once again in an area of activity which you have very little or maybe no experience at all.

 

Of course you can go on to deal with the problem in any way you want. However I have to say this if you decide to ignore the advice which is given you here then I don't think we can help you any further.


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Please will you explain why it is so important to have copies of all of the plasterer's invoices? How will this benefit me?

 

I need to be sure the benefits outweigh the risks of giving him the opportunity to add anything to them which could make his case stronger.

 

I appreciate your help Bankfodder, but it is important to me to understand why I should do something which I consider to be dangerous.

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well apart from anything else, don't you think it is absolutely absurd not have the invoices for a job which either you are considering paying or else you're considering not paying?

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How best should I word my request for copies of invoices, whilst sounding as though I already have a full set of them?

 

I want to discourage him from providing invoices that have been rewritten and providing evidence that there has been a contract set up between us

 

The invoice which is disputed is separate from the two which have already been paid which were numbered 1/2 and 2/2.

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I have already explained to you that you must write to him and simply say that you have lost all the invoices and that before you can deal with this claim please supply you with copies of all of them.


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Any movement on this?

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